By Matthew Whyte

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, known as Parmigianino, was born in Parma on 11 January 1503. One of the principal exponents of Italian Mannerism, Parmigianino worked predominantly in Florence, Bologna, Rome, and Parma. His paintings are typically Mannerist in style, exhibiting elongated forms, stylized figures and somewhat obscure subjects. Parmigianino was among the first generation of Mannerists, who developed a style which rejection the order and dignity of the High Renaissance in favour of a more subjective approach to their art. While Mannerist painting was soon after criticized for its artificiality and its rejection of naturalistic principles, the work of artists such as Parmigianino has since become prized for its imaginative effects and its inventive use of line, colour, and figural arrangement.

Reference: David Ekserjian, Parmigianino, New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2006.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, c.1524, oil on wood, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Madonna of the Long Neck, 1534-40, oil on wood, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

(Images: Web Gallery of Art)

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